Proper planning goes a long way. The same is true when you build a new home that is based on energy-saving fundamentals. Energy-efficient homes not only help with energy conservation but also help you save money in the longer run. Moreover, your home becomes more durable and comfortable.
All About Location
While building an energy-efficient home, location, shape, and construction materials are prime considerations that will significantly influence the heating and cooling requirements. The maximum use of passive solar energy gain in winters and reduction of the heat gain during summers is the ideal scenario. It is achieved by optimizing the location, orientation, and landscaping of the home.
Home orientation determines how much sun your house will be getting. This has a direct impact on your home’s temperature.
Design the home to take advantage of different sun angles. The midday sun is at a low angle in winter and a high angle in summer. Based on this, position your home to reduce heating and cooling expenses. Homes situated on the south side of the street-facing north get a lot of sunlight at the back of the house. Homes on the north side get shade during the summer afternoons in their backyards. Similarly, if you’re living in a colder climate, you’d want to choose your windows’ location to be able to absorb maximum sunlight. South-facing homes capture sunlight in the winter while blocking it during summer.
A well-designed ventilation system for an energy-efficient house doesn’t only provide comfort but also helps in energy saving by preventing the overuse of electrical appliances used for heating and cooling purposes. Moreover, home ventilation also filters out contaminated air. The simplest form of ventilation systems are windows and mechanical systems with fans used to keep the interior pleasant. Your home design should ensure healthy and natural ventilation.
The ventilation system is an integral part of your energy-efficient house design because it moves air and moisture across the building envelope’s barrier, and sometimes it also moves heat. A well-thought-out ventilation system can significantly minimize your overall energy usage and help make your home more energy-efficient.
Energy Saving Devices
With the progress and advancement in technology, the selection of relevant smart devices can help you in saving and optimizing your home energy. Such devices use minimum energy to function as compared to regular appliances, thus further reducing your electricity bills. An energy-efficient home needs to be smart to give a good return on investment and save money in the longer run.
You can utilize smart AC controllers, smart thermostats, smart bulbs, smart blinds, kitchen appliances, etc., to equip your smart home. Taking the example of smart AC controllers, they function by regulating your air conditioner usage according to your usage habits throughout the day helping you save 25% on your cooling and heating bills. They can also be coupled with other smart home climate control appliances connected with Alexa or Google Home for further benefits.
Design for Water Conservation
An increasing number of energy-efficient houses are incorporating water-saving systems. For instance, homeowners are going for greywater recycling systems. Greywater is the waste water from showers, sinks, laundry tubs, and washing machines. You can have a diversion system installed that carries the greywater from your washing machine to your bathroom or your garden.
This system can decrease your water usage by about 50%, helping reduce your water bills.
Moreover, you can also save water during the shower and washing dishes by incorporating new technology in your house. New low-flow water fixtures in the kitchen and showers reduce the amount of water coming out of them but distribute it more evenly.
The roofing material is another important consideration when building an energy-efficient home. The material used for the roof of your house can absorb less heat by deflecting the sunlight, thus maintaining a constant temperature of your home. The choice of roofing materials makes a difference in overall energy efficiency. The materials used to build the roof help you with energy conservation, decrease air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and keep your home cool without air conditioning.
Initially, the selection of a roof could be expensive, but in the long run, it pays back and reduces your bill by regulating the temperature of your home during summers.
Solar Panels can help build energy-efficient homes. If your area is exposed to the sun throughout the year, then solar panels will surely reduce your electricity bills. These panels don’t require extensive maintenance, so it’s a one-time investment that saves you from a lot of hassle and makes you self-sufficient.
Solar panels are an environmentally friendly option since solar energy is converted into electrical energy, reducing harmful greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Once you have installed solar panels, you can use the energy for a host of different uses, such as a solar heater for heating water, bulbs, and practically any home appliance.